Kristen R. Ghodsee
- Associate Professor
- Bowdoin College
The Miniskirt or the Veil: Moderate Muslim Women Resisting Islamic Fundamentalism in Postcommunist Bulgaria
My research examines postsocialist Pomak Muslim women resisting the importation of Wahabi Islam into Southeastern Europe. Bulgaria’s Muslim community has historically professed a very moderate version of Islam. As the economic situation in the region deteriorated after 1989, however, proponents of a more fundamentalist version of the religion have secured international aid to build new mosques and schools. Their conservative theology has met resistance from older Pomak women raised under communism to believe in the total equality of men and women. My project looks at the specific shapes this resistance is taking today, and how strategic support to this generation of postsocialist women could be successful in diluting the Wahabi Muslim influence in the region.